Diagnosing IBS?All in the Symptoms
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) representsone of the most common reasonsfor seeing a primary care physician orconsulting a gastroenterologist and isassociated with substantial economicconsequences.
In a review article published in the June2004 issue of Alimentary Pharmacologyand Therapeutics, Brooks D. Cash, MD,and William D. Chey, MD, discuss an evidence-based approach to diagnosing IBS.The authors describe how the developmentand refinement of symptom-basedcriteria to define IBS have facilitated itsdiagnosis. They also explain how IBS canbe confidently diagnosed in the clinicalsetting through symptom identification andphysical examination. The authors concludethat current evidence does not supportextensive diagnostic testing in theabsence of alarm symptoms.